Woody’s Marble White and Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

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Serves: 12 to 16

Oven Temperature: 450˚F/230˚C, for the chocolate biscuit;
                                 350˚F/175˚C, for the cheesecake
Baking Time: 7 to 10 minutes, for the chocolate biscuit;
                       45 minutes (50 minutes if using a silicone pan for the water bath)
                        plus 1 hour with oven off, for the cheesecake

Traditionally, marble cake recipes call for making a single batter and using part of it to create the darker chocolate batter. In this version, I made two separate batters, one with white chocolate and the other with bittersweet chocolate, so that each batter had a perfect flavor and consistency. The crust is a chocolate biscuit (Beesk WEE), which looks almost like patent leather and can be easily cut with dental floss. You can also use a chocolate or vanilla crumb crust. The cheesecake is baked in a water bath to give it a custardy texture.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: This recipe is in The Baking Bible. You can see step-by-step photos and comments on Rose's Alpha Bakers bake thru blog, which is linked on our The Baking Bible's page. You can enter the recipe's name in the search box at the top of the Alpha Baker's home page. 

Plan Ahead Make the cheesecake at least one day before serving.

Special Equipment For the Chocolate Biscuit: One 17-1/4 by 12-1/4 by 1 inch half-sheet pan, coated with shortening or nonstick cooking spray, bottom lined with parchment and then coated with baking spray with flour (have the parchment extend one inch past one of the long sides of the pan); One large wire rack; One baking sheet or extra half-sheet pan, lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray.

For the Cheesecake Filling: One 9 by 2-1/2 inch or higher springform pan, the sides coated with shortening, placed in a slightly larger silicone pan or wrapped with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil to prevent seepage. For the sides cut a 30 by 2 inch wide band of parchment. Wrap and press it against the inside walls of the pan. Use shortening to coat the overlapping ends to hold them in place. Lightly coat the parchment with nonstick cooking spray; An expandable flan ring, 8-3/4 inch pot lid, or 8-3/4 inch cardboard template; One 12 inch round cake pan or a roasting pan to serve as a water bath.

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Preheat the Oven Thirty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Set the oven to 450˚F/230˚C.

Mis en Place
   * 30 minutes ahead, set the eggs on the counter at room temperature
      (65˚ to 75˚F/19˚ to 21˚C).
   * Into separate bowls, weigh or measure the egg yolks and egg whites.
   * Sift the flour onto a piece of parchment or into another small bowl.

Make the Batter

1) Mix the Cocoa and Water In a small bowl, with a silicone spatula, stir together the cocoa and boiling water until smooth.

2) Stir in the vanilla, cover tightly with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation, and cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. To speed cooling, place the bowl in the refrigerator. Bring the mixture to room temperature before proceeding.

3) Mix the Egg Mixture In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, place the egg yolks, half the egg whites (1/4 cup/59 m/60 grams) and the 2/3 cup/133 grams of sugar. Beat on high speed until thick, fluffy, and tripled in volume, about 5 minutes.

4) Lower the speed to medium and add the cocoa mixture, beating a few seconds until incorporated.

If you don’t have a second mixer bowl, scrape this mixture into a large bowl and thoroughly wash, rinse, and dry the mixer bowl and whisk beater to remove any trace of oil.

5) Sift half the flour over the egg mixture and, using a large balloon whisk, slotted skimmer, or silicone spatula, fold it in gently but rapidly until almost all the flour has disappeared.
6)Repeat with the remaining flour until all traces of the flour have disappeared.

7) Beat the Egg Whites into a Stiff Meringue In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, beat the remaining half of the egg whites and the cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy. Gradually raise the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised.
8) Gradually beat in the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly.

9) Add the Meringue to the Batter  Using the large balloon whisk, slotted skimmer, or large silicone spatula, gently fold the meringue into the batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and using a small offset spatula, smooth the surface as evenly as possible.

10) Bake the Cake Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. Have ready a small sharp knife.

11) Unmold and Cool the Cake Run the tip of a sharp knife around the sides to dislodge any cake that may have attached itself to the sides of the pan and unmold the cake at once. Slip a small offset spatula under the edge of the parchment to loosen it. Grasp the parchment and gently slide the cake onto the wire rack. Let the cake cool completely, about 20 minutes.
12) Invert the cake onto the baking sheet, or inverted half-sheet pan, and peel off the parchment. If not using it right away, cover with plastic wrap.

13) Cut the Cake Pieces Begin by cutting the cake into two unequal rectangles width wise: one needs to be 8-3/4 inches wide for the round cake base.

To make the round cake base: Set the expandable flan ring on the cake and mark around it with the tip of a sharp knife. Use scissors to cut out the disc.

To make the side pieces: use a long serrated knife and a ruler to cut a 10 by 5-1/4 inch rectangle from the remaining cake rectangle. With the knife, cut the rectangle the long way into three strips, each 1-3/4 inches wide. Alternatively, with the tip of a sharp knife mark where the cuts should be and use scissors to cut out the strips.

Wrap each cake piece in plastic wrap to keep it soft and fresh, and refrigerate them until ready to line the pan and add the filling.

14) Line the Springform Pan with the Cake Press the three side strips, with the top crust sides facing the sides of the pan, against the parchment. Trim one of the pieces to make a seamless fit.
15) Set the cake disc, with the top crust side facing down onto the bottom of the pan and wedged against the side strips.
16) Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap while you are making the filling.

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Preheat the Oven Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Set the oven to 350˚F/175˚C.

Mis en Place
30 minutes to 1 hour ahead, set the eggs and cream cheese on the counter at room temperature (65˚ to 75˚F/19˚ to 21˚C).
   * On separate cutting boards, coarsely chop each chocolate.
   * In a large pot, preferably with a spout, heat a few quarts of water to very hot to the touch. Cover the pot.
   * Sprinkle a tablespoon of cream of tartar into the cake pan (which will prevent the pan from discoloring during baking).

Melt the Chocolates
1) Use a small microwavable bowl, stirring with a silicone spatula every 15 seconds (or use the top of a double boiler set over hot, not simmering, water, stirring often--do not let the bottom of the container touch the water) to heat the white chocolate until almost completely melted.
2) Remove the white chocolate from the heat and stir until fully melted. Let it cool until it is no longer warm to the touch but is still fluid.

3) Repeat the same process for melting the dark chocolate.

Make the Batter
4) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until very smooth, scraping the sides once or twice, about 3 minutes.
5) Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until smooth and scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice.
6) Add the cream, vanilla, cornstarch, and salt, and beat on medium-low speed until incorporated. Detach the whisk beater and use it to whisk in any mixture that has settled to the bottom of the bowl.

7) Pour 2-1/2 cups/590 grams of the batter into a medium size bowl. Scrape the melted dark chocolate into it and, with a large whisk, whisk until the batter is a uniform color.

8) Scrape the melted white chocolate into the stand mixer bowl. Return it to the mixer and mix on medium-low speed for about 30 seconds or until the white chocolate is incorporated.

Mixing the Two Batters
9) Pour about half (500 grams) of the white chocolate batter into the springform pan and spread it evenly with a small offset spatula.
10) Spoon the dark chocolate batter on top of the white chocolate batter and spread it evenly.

11) Scrape the remaining white chocolate batter over the dark chocolate batter and spread it evenly. Use a whisk or large spoon to swirl the two batters lightly, in an over and under motion to create a marbled effect.

Bake the Cake
12) Fill the water bath pan with a half-inch of water and whisk the cream of tartar until it dissolves.
13) Set the springform pan into the larger pan and surround it with 1 inch of water.

14) Bake for 25 minutes. For even baking, rotate the pan halfway around. Continue baking for 20 minutes (30 minutes if using the silicone pan).
15) Turn off the oven without opening the door and let the cake cool for 1 hour. When moved the center will barely move.

Chill the Cake
16) Remove the pan from the water bath but leave the silicone pan or foil in place to catch any liquid that may seep from the cake. Set it on a wire rack to cool to room temperature or just until warm, about 1 to 2 hours.
17) To absorb condensation place a paper towel, curved side upwards, over the pan with the ends overhanging. Place an inverted plate, larger than the springform pan, on top of the paper towel.
18) Refrigerate the cheesecake for 4 hours or overnight.

Unmold the Cake
19) Remove the plate, paper towel, and silicone pan (or foil). Blot off any water from the top of the cheesecake.
20) Run a spatula between the sides of the springform pan and the parchment and release the sides of the springform pan. Carefully peel off the parchment by rolling it as it releases from the cake.

21) If the cheesecake’s sides above the biscuit are uneven, run a small metal spatula under hot water and use it to smooth the sides even with the biscuit.

Cut and Serve the Cake
22) We recommend using dental floss for cutting cheesecake, which will slice through the biscuit as well. With both hands, tauntly hold a length of dental floss centered over the cheesecake. Slice through the cheesecake and crust with a sawing action to the bottom. Pull the dental floss out one side. Repeat the process for cutting the slices to be served. (Alternatively, cut the cheesecake slices with a heated knife.)

Store Airtight: refrigerated, 5 days. Do not freeze as the texture will become less smooth.

Marie Wolf's photographed by Jim Wolf

Marie Wolf's photographed by Jim Wolf